You make sure your kids visit the family doctor once a year (or more often, if you have an infant), but you can't remember the last time you saw the doctor outside of an illness or emergency.
Physicals aren't just for children, they are for adults as well, but many people don't visit the doctor regularly. Some doctors even state that the yearly physical for adults is unnecessary and outdated. Still, there are many reasons why you should visit the doctor once a year for a head-to-toe checkup, even if you feel fine. Your family doctor may even be able to schedule you in along with your children's appointments to make the visit more convenient for you.
You May Need Booster Shots
Most of your vaccinations you receive as a child, but many vaccines, including tetanus, hepatitis A and B, and other vaccinations, don't last a lifetime.
You may be due for a booster shot, which your family doctor can give you when you go in for your annual exam. Receiving new vaccinations not only helps keep you healthier, staying immunized protects your children at home who have not received a full set of vaccines yet.
You May Need a Lifestyle Change
You try to exercise every day and keep your weight in check, but your lifestyle isn't as active as it once was. The truth is, your metabolism chances as you age, and your body changes right along with it.
Your doctor will take your blood pressure and calculate your health needs based on your height, weight, and any habits you have that can be potentially bad for your health (such as smoking or drinking). Your family doctor's job is to keep your health in check, so your doctor will compare your previous years' physical to the results of this year's to see if any lifestyle changes need to be made.
Concerns your doctor will want to talk to you about include:
- Increased weight gain
- High blood pressure
- Mobility issues (flexibility, bending over)
- Spine and posture problems
- Unhealthy habits
Be honest with your doctor when going in for your yearly physical exam, explaining your daily food intake, how often you consume nicotine, alcohol, or other substances, and how active you really are. Your honesty will assist your family doctor in helping you come up with a lifestyle routine to keep you on track.
You May Have an Unknown Health Condition
Perhaps a mole on your body is unusual, or your sleeping habits have been declining. Maybe your bowel movements aren't as regular as they used to be, or your heartburn is getting steadily worse. These issues may seem like par for course to you, but in reality could actually be symptoms of potentially serious medical condition.
You may have an unknown (to you) medical condition that won't get treated until you see a professional. When you visit the doctor every year, small concerns can be caught before they become more serious.
As part of your physical, your family doctor will inquire about family history of mental illness, heart disease, cancers, and other medical problems. Your body and vital signs will be checked for signs of illness that you may not even know about. If you have any concerns about your health, be open about them with your doctor, even if they feel embarrassing to discuss; your family doctor is a professional who has not only heard it all before, but are available to help you feel better.
You should visit the doctor every year, just like your kids do. Taking care of your health today helps keep you healthier in the future. Trust our team of medical professionals to treat your entire family at Alafaya Woods Family Medical Center today.